Farmers whose operations may suffer damage from a storm are now eligible for compensation in the form of interest-free loans made available after the state declared an emergency following recent bad weather.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Rural Finance Authority (RFA) Board of Directors declared an emergency on May 31 for the following counties: Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Big Stone, Brown, Carlton, Chippewa, Chisago, Clay, Clearwater, Cook, Cottonwood, Douglas, Faribault, Grant, Isanti, Jackson, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Koochiching, Talking Lake, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Lincoln, Lyon, Mahnomen, Marshall, Meeker, Morrison, Murray, Nobles, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Red Lake, Renville, Rock, Reed, Saint Louis, Sherburne, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse , Wadena, Wilkin and Yellow Medicine.
The disaster recovery loan program can be used to help cover lost income or expenses not covered by insurance. Funds can be used to help clean up, repair or replace farm structures and replace livestock.
The statement applies to property damage and/or livestock deaths that occurred due to heavy rains and high winds in May.
Eligible farmers must have received at least 50% of their annual gross income from farming for the past three years and will work through their bank to secure the RFA loans. Interest rates on the RFA portion of the loan are currently set at 0.0%.
The Minnesota Legislature this spring earmarked $2.5 million in additional funds to replenish the revolving loan account that funds the disaster recovery loan program, which was recently used for related highly pathogenic poultry losses. avian flu, drought and COVID-19 related expenses.
RFA participation in an eligible loan is limited to 45% of the principal amount up to $200,000. Down payment and security requirements will be determined by the agricultural lender and the authority.
Loan amortization will be scheduled under flexible terms not exceeding 10 years. Only interest payments on loans are allowed for the first two years.
There is no maximum on the amount of loan a participating lender can make under the program.
The original lender will retain the balance of each loan. The borrower must meet the guidelines of local lenders. The local lender will control the daily operation of the loan.
Participating lenders are permitted to charge a fixed or adjustable rate of interest in accordance with their normal lending practices and their agreement with the RFA.
For more information about the disaster recovery loan, visit mda.state.mn.us/disasterloan or call the Rural Finance Authority office loan programs at 651-201-6004.